stress induced perioral dermatitis.
dry, itchy skin around my mouth (so embarrassing looking), spread a rash all the way up to my eyelids and forehead. The $115 explanation of the day: you’re a woman between 20-40 and may have a significant amount of stress in your life.
Well. Sort of, I guess.
it started as a small dry patch below some cracked lips after spring break. By that Friday, I thought it was an allergic reaction to my new medication. I stopped the medication, and went to the doctors on campus both Friday and Monday. Every day last week was painful and hurt and la la la, but some days were better than others. I presented at the Research Colloquium without it being too noticeable, but by Saturday night at the banquet, it was starting to stretch up my cheeks. Not itching is so hard, and sometimes I’d cave to bring my lips relief. My bottom lip is constantly swollen and hard to the touch, making me want to bite or itch it (itch being stab it with my fingernails).
I tried everything and ran out of ideas. Water to hydrate dry skin. Multivitamin in case of vitamin deficiency. Replaced toothpaste. Considered re-washing my sheets if detergent was causing an allergy. and SO MANY face products and about a pound of Vaseline.
The more I read, the more I feared that all the doctor would have to say to me is that is is caused by stress. Sure enough.
I woke up this morning looking like this:
I scheduled a derm appointment for tomorrow, but thanks to the “power of the mom,” my mom called and got me in today instead.
I haven’t thought I was particularly stressed any more than normal, but apparently my body thinks differently.
I’ve made six trips to Walgreens in the past 12 days. I made two today.
She gave me an oral medication (big pills…one down, a zillion to go) to take once a day and a facial gel to apply twice a day. We’ll see how this goes. I feel bad for demonizing my medication, but apparently that was not the problem…
The thing I’m trying NOT to think about (because it causes more stress, and also makes me want to cry a little bit), is that she said it could “take up to two months before the inflammation starts to go down.” I’M SORRY, WHAT? I don’t exactly have two months to wait around on this.
Sigh. So. Breathing exercises. What else do you do to not be subconsciously stressed?
The more you know, folks.